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Largest decrease in vehicle thefts in five years

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In the past, 5,404 passenger cars were stolen. That means a decrease of sixteen percent compared to a year earlier and the largest decrease in five years. The other vehicle categories also show decreases, ranging from seven percent (motorcycles) to 48 percent (heavy commercial vehicles).

The National Intelligence and Expertise Centre for Vehicle Crime (LIV) announced the annual figures this morning. In addition to the thefts, the LIV also had news about the recovery rate, which for years fluctuated around forty percent, but has now risen to 45 percent.
According to the LIV, the chance that a stolen vehicle will be recovered is still greatest within the first 24 hours. This is especially true for vehicles under the age of four. Older vehicles are found less often.

SUVs in demand

Among passenger cars, SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai, Toyota RAV 4 and C-HR and the Peugeot 2008 and 3008 remain a favourite with car thieves. In 2021, 104 Qashqais were stolen and that amounts to an increase of 160 percent. The VW Golf remains, with 328 units, the most stolen model. Followed by the VW Polo (295) and the Fiat 500 (196).
Also noteworthy is the huge increase in motorcycle thefts in November and December. This almost offsets the sharp decline in the first months of 2021.

Another revenue model for car thieves?

The figures also show that the decrease in vehicle thefts is greatest in the three major cities. Only in Limburg is a slight increase visible. The LIV thinks that the corona pandemic "has undoubtedly contributed to the decrease in the number of vehicle thefts".
In addition, the curfew and the cold winter weather in February may have played a role. "Clear explanations for the decrease cannot be given unambiguously," says liv manager Rudi Welling. "Criminals may also have (partly) switched to other revenue models due to reduced sales opportunities, which are more lucrative and less risky."

Damage burden remains a point of attention

Finally, Welling emphasizes that he is happy with the figures, but does not want to deny the influence of the corona pandemic. "Figures from insurers show that although the total claim burden of car theft is falling, it has risen by an average of ten percent per vehicle in the past year. In the coming year, we will therefore make even more use of digital detection when finding vehicles. In addition, we recommend installing an additional CCV-approved alarm system for vehicles with a keyless entrysystem, as these remain susceptible to theft. We are not dissatisfied, but we must remain alert."

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